Photo Information

Cpls. Daniel R. Roca, left, and Jarrod R. Allen check the oil on a 7-ton truck Aug. 30 during Artillery Relocation Training Program 14-2 at the Yausubetsu Maneuver Area in Hokkaido, Japan. Marines working at the administrative logistics ordnance command maintained vehicles and equipment for three batteries during ARTP 14-2. Roca is from Germantown, Maryland, and an automotive organizational mechanic with 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force. Allen is from Amarillo, Texas, and a motor vehicle operator with the battalion. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Matthew Manning/Released)

Photo by Sgt. Matthew Manning

Support keeps artillery firing

17 Sep 2014 | Sgt. Matthew Manning The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

With any military operation or exercise, logistical planning is required for both troops and equipment to function at full potential.

For the Marines with the administrative logistics ordnance command, 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, meeting the logistical requirements of the three artillery batteries operating in the Yausubetsu Maneuver Area during Artillery Relocation Training Program 14-2 is a constant and ever-evolving mission. 

“The ALOC tracks and handles all the logistics operating within the battalion and ensures that each firing battery, as well as, all the elements of the headquarters battery, has exactly what they need in their respective class of supplies as far as fuel, water, ammunition and food goes,” said 1st Lt. Thomas J. Matson, a maintenance management officer with 3rd Bn., 12th Marines, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “We facilitate the movement of these supplies throughout the training area or battle space.”

Serving as a resupply and refueling point for the batteries within the training area, the ALOC is also home to a variety of equipment not seen within the batteries, according to Lance Cpl. Morgan E. Chesnut, a light armored vehicle repairer serving as an electra-optical ordnance repairman with the battalion.

“Some examples of the different equipment the ALOC has, that the firing batteries do not, are the wrecker and the logistic vehicle system replacements,” said Chesnut, from Seattle, Washington. “We use the wrecker in the case of a vehicle needing maintenance or towing, as well as a maintenance truck with a trailer full of any tools the mechanics would need. We also have an ordnance contact truck, which has all the tools and nitrogen tanks needed to ensure the cannons are functioning properly. We also have several LVSRs, which enable us to keep more supplies on hand than what the firing batteries are able to bring with them.”

Supporting three separate batteries across the vast training area has kept the Marines of the ALOC well occupied, according to Cpl. Daniel R. Roca, an automotive organizational mechanic with the battalion. 

“In every training location, you have to battle the elements,” said Roca, from Germantown, Maryland. “It is part of being a Marine. You just have to accept the fact that you will be dirty. This training area has very thick mud, and with the mud, vehicles get stuck. We had to perform several vehicle recovery runs while we have been here in which we need to use our wrecker to tow vehicles.”

Along with the different equipment, the ALOC is home to the Marines who operate it, according to Matson, from Marengo, Illinois.

“Most of the mechanics are going to reside within the ALOC,” said Matson. “Each battery will have some mechanics on hand to ensure proper user maintenance is being performed on all the equipment, but the ALOC is able to provide that higher level of maintenance than what the batteries are capable. So instead of having to send a vehicle or (an M777A2 lightweight 155 mm howitzer) back to the rear for a maintenance issue, we are able to send a team of mechanics to the battery to perform that maintenance and get that equipment back in the fight.”

The ARTP has taken place since 1997, and is regularly scheduled training that enhances the combat readiness of U.S. Marine forces and supports the U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security.